The Grey

“Life is not a game, it’s a song.”

-Five Finger Death Punch, “Brighter Side of Grey”

The cold desert morning cut through me as I pulled out of the parking lot. I signaled right, even though I knew not a damn soul was out at this hour.

Just my own nervous habits, I guess. Making sure everyone knew where I was going, even though I didn’t want to leave.

My rental car cut through the chill in the air as I merged onto a desolate I-10 on my way back to Phoenix, on the way back to my old life, on my way back to my own reality. As I drove in silence, I realized what I had been dreading for the entirety of this trip was finally happening.

There were three things that I knew I couldn’t avoid and I knew were the honest truth of my current situation.

  1. I had to leave.
  2. I wasn’t coming back.
  3. I was never going to see her again.

We had shared our goodbyes in the early hours and we both knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But we both knew it was coming. We knew this wasn’t going to work, it never works, and with each of our situations, there wasn’t a chance in hell we were going to be different.

It seems exceptions only work for exceptional people with exceptional resources.

So I drove. The traffic was slowing as the sun rose on this picturesque scene in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Regardless of how it worked out, I still had a flight to catch, a life to go back to, and a world that wasn’t going to have her in it, no matter how many stars I wished upon.

Silence, sweet silence, gave me pause to think about what I had just experienced, the fun times, the great sex, the amazing people, the venues, the food, the weather, the world that I had a chance to broach for 6 wonderful days.

But I also knew that I was kidding myself if I was going to bring any of it back with me.

This isn’t Hollywood. I wasn’t riding off into the sunset with the woman I love after saving the day, I was riding off into the sunrise alone, heading back to my life.

With a heavy heart, I boarded the plane. I was never coming back here again.

“She’s only yours for a limited time.”

This is the struggle many men and more recently, myself, has had to come to grips with. There are certain things that float around the ‘sphere that we tend to make fun of as cliche, but when they boil down to it, they are correct.

This rings very true for many men. My last few relationships haven’t been relationships as much as they’ve been a quick window into what could be if circumstances weren’t working against me.

But that nasty word, “reality”, intrudes all too often to men who think romantically and not pragmatically. This is a red pill truth that is all too often beaten up because it is used in a way that tells men that they shouldn’t even try to have her in their lives.

Because indeed, it’s better to have her for the time you have her than to never have her at all.

This is all too often an excuse for men to avoid women, go MGTOW, and admit that Hypergamy, that horrible boogeyman to men, is an unstoppable force that men cannot overcome. She’s always going to be looking for a better dude than you, right? She’s always looking for another option, right?

The black and white that red pill purists are trying to have doesn’t work when you throw in the grey. It works in theoretical work, but when in the field, it tends to be determined differently in different situations. There are men on this side of the world that have been in long term relationships and marriages for a while now. But what makes them different is the fact that they’ve entered into it on their terms, under their own frame, and with the guidelines of a “REAL” reality that she can be there with them for the entirety of their lives.

The problem is that men need to be able to ascertain that regardless if she’s only going to be in your life for a short time is that your life is better when she was in it than when she wasn’t. Women in general fulfill men’s lives if men understand exactly why women do what they do.

The reason I traveled to Arizona was to have a vacation by myself, she was the very good icing on the cake, but I let myself get sucked into the mantra that “anything is possible” even when it most certainly wasn’t. Her life was in Arizona, mine was in Indiana. There wasn’t anything that was going to change that. She knew it and so did I.

But the “grey” I can take from the black is that at least I got to spend that time with her. I’ll probably never see her again, and that’s okay. Because I made the most of the time I had with her. And that’s where the pragmatic needs to show itself to men.

Men will try to move hell and Earth to make something happen romantically that shouldn’t. They’ll travel hundreds, even thousands of miles, rearrange their lives, and forgo things they shouldn’t because of the “special” times they have with a girl they connect with, never questioning if they should just chalk it up to a great weekend, week, month or year of having fun with a woman whom he connects with.

And while having to leave is certainly depressing, it helps to be grounded in a reality (especially mine), where the chances of anything happening past a great experience are nil. I have two kids, I have a business, I have a life of my own in my own state. I’m not going anywhere, nor would I want to. Even if I didn’t have my reality and was single, I wouldn’t change my entire life to pursue a woman, because there are many more important things going on that I’m building.

But it still doesn’t mean you, as a man, should avoid meeting women and experiencing all that life has to offer.

You can’t let the prospect of you potentially falling for a girl dissuade you from wooing her. You have to be able to disconnect, but you also have to remember….

The roller coaster of life is worth experiencing.

Women love and leave you and you MUST feel those feelings. It makes you a better, more lived, well rounded person. A tree that’s been through hell and back has the rings to prove it. It’s lived a life worth living. Are you going to look back with regret that you didn’t take that trip, meet that woman, have awesome times? No one wants to be regretting on their death bed.

It’s why I had to feel the gut punch as I left Arizona that day. If I hadn’t done everything I did, even knowing I wouldn’t see her again, what kind of life was I living?

The pain was worth every part of the pleasure.

Who wants to live a life that avoids living?

“Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work.”

Depends.

This is another manosphere mantra that for the MOST part is correct.

I’ve met a few couples who have managed to make it work, but knowing that one or the other was going to move (in most cases, her to him, him to her very seldom works out for anyone), they made plans. They have to not be too attached to their locations, but they would have to be committed to a life with you, and many women won’t or in my case, can’t, do that. They have families, they have roots, and so do you.

Men make the mistake of trying to make a long distance relationship work, especially with a woman who has many options around her that she doesn’t have to work for. Regardless of how much fiction I wanted to believe, there wasn’t a snowflake’s chance in hell that anything was going to happen that would’ve changed this. She doesn’t have to move, she has a ton of other options closer, and I knew this.

It still sucks, though.

I’m not saying it doesn’t. I’m just saying that when you get attached to a girl, especially one that lives far away from you, you have to be realistic about what is going to happen. You can’t rearrange your life for her, she doesn’t want that and you shouldn’t either. Enjoy the moment for what it was and move on to another moment.

There will be other girls, I promise.

But don’t kid yourself about making an LDR work. It’s a correct assumption that a majority of them don’t work out, either by hook or by crook, you’ll have to make that decision sooner rather than later, so get it out of the way. The longer it festers, the worse your recovery will be.

There are too many options around you right now that are both more advantageous by location, as well as financially beneficial. You can’t be flying back and forth from distant locations hoping to make it work when another dude can be in your lady’s house in 5 minutes. You have to think logistically.

I knew, quite accurately, that as the feelings subsided on that cold morning as I was driving away, that nothing was going to come of this. There wasn’t a magical ending that was going to bring her to me, or me to her. And there wasn’t anything that the mileage between us was going to solve, it was just making the truth that much easier to see.

But you can’t tell a guy in love this. He sees only the Hollywood ending, when he moves to be with the woman he loves, only to see her resent him the minute his plane touches down. She doesn’t WANT you to be with her, because if she did, she would be on a plane to see you. Guys have to realize the moment is just that, a moment, and if she wants anything more, SHE has to make that move.

When the guy makes the flight, the move, the life change, the timer is ticking on the end of the relationship.

I’m not saying never, but I’m saying it enough that men should avoid it.

You can’t force anything if she won’t make the move. Stop trying to force something that isn’t there.

Gotta Feel It

It blows.

The gut feeling that I felt as I drove away. The certain truth that I wasn’t ever going to see her again, the fact that I had to leave to go back to my life, and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it in any way, shape or form.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Because the feelings I had when I saw her in person, all the great times I spent with her, the feelings we shared, the times we had, can’t be matched.

She’s an amazing person and I hope she can find a guy that will make her happy, but she and I aren’t it. I had a hope, but with all the available evidence and with everything that I already knew, there wasn’t a chance.

Hope can be an effective tool but it can also be a damaging self immolation and skewing of reality.

So we’ve moved on.

But you can’t be afraid to feel. You can’t be afraid to put yourself in situations where you’ll feel a plethora of different emotions. That’s life, that’s the reason you live it.

I’ve had a large amount of different feelings in my life, from joy during the births of my kids and my wedding, to defeat when I was struggling with depression during my divorce, to sorrow when I lost my friend who killed himself over his ex-wife, to hope when I log in and see a man’s DM to me saying I’ve helped him overcome something in his life he wouldn’t have without me.

But I do what I do, I go where I go to meet new people and experience life with others. There are always going to be peaks and valleys, but avoiding them altogether to avoid pain is a life not lived. Pain helps us grow. Pain helps us appreciate the times we didn’t feel pain. Pain helps us prepare for the good or bad times awaiting us in the future.

You can’t avoid it, so accept all the feelings in your life, because this is life.

Stop being afraid of everything hurting you and start preparing yourself for experiences you can tell your grand kids about, experiences you can use to fuel your life, experiences that fill the photo album of your mind and heart.

But most of all, stop avoiding your own reality. It’s good to escape to another world for a while and have some fun, but realize that you have your own life and there are many women out there who are clamoring to be a part of it. Women who are in your town, your church, your local area that are attractive and wanting a dude just like you.

Regardless of how I felt on that morning, driving back from a life that I couldn’t have, I got on the plane, and flew back home.

My life is here. I got off the plane, got home, hugged my kids, dried my eyes, and focused on the fact that there are many women who want to be a part of my life, and they don’t have to uproot their own existence to be there.

So my journey continues….

And to my beautiful Arizona woman, I want you to know that I cherished all the times we spent together, the talks we had, the moments we shared.

You are indeed a very special person, and I can’t thank you enough for making this time one of the most amazing times in my life.

I wish you the very best.

Stop being afraid to live you lives, men. You have a whole world out there to experience. Stop being afraid of pain, hurt, heartache, or disappointment.

It makes the times you succeed, truly fall in love, smile, and laugh much more enjoyable.

Never be afraid of the pain of getting burnt by the fire, because all the other things the fire brings you are more than worth it.

I still referred to this quote as a reason men need to face life with their chest out:

Never be afraid to feel.

There’s always a brighter side of grey.

I’m writing this in case I’m gone tomorrow
I’m writing this in case I’ve moved along
There’s something that I hope you’ll remember
That life is not a game, it’s a song

So take the best parts of me
Locked away without the keys
And know that I’m forever by your side

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

If you’re reading this, I know you’re feeling sorrow
If you’re hearing this, I know you’re probably scared
Just know that all the things you want are borrowed
And all you get to keep is all you’ve shared

So wipe away the tears for me
Know that we’ve made history
Remember no one ever really dies

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

The Pain You Need

Photo Credit: carlosxuma.com

At the birth of my beta existence, I was a senior in high school. I hadn’t dated much, and was just discovering girls, while many of my peers had been dating for 2-3 years. I was a virgin who had very little experience in this realm. I was a pretty hopeless case. A text book beta.

So it goes without saying that my first screaming case of oneitis occurred in these beta formative years. And of all my cases of oneitis, this was the worst.

She was tall, athletic, blond, and gorgeous. Tiffany was a freshman when I was a senior. She had lived in my neighborhood, and I knew of her growing up, but when she hit high school, she blossomed into a beautiful woman. And she knew it. So being a beta turd, I was already at a disadvantage. I was put into the friendzone almost immediately, with my only success being a stealed kiss waiting for a friend at my parents house.

She dated two of my friends as I continued into college. I was extremely hooked on her, almost unhealthy, and as she graduated, she would bounce around dating my good friends (everyone except me, essentially).

I still wouldn’t take the hint. When she entered college at my university, I tried to continue to play the nice guy. I took her to dinners constantly, listening to her drone on about how my friends were so awesome to her and she had a crush on them. Bouncing back and forth between my two best friends at the time, it was agony for me. And I still couldn’t drag myself out of it.

This screaming case of oneitis had cost me my college freedom. It had closed me off to what was possible. And even worse, if she had asked me to do anything, I would’ve done it twice over. She had a spell on me, and it really affected me.

On several of our dinner dates, I would continue to hint that I would be perfect for her, molding myself into someone she could date, but she would always tell me no. I’d be destroyed for a couple of months, and then go right back to trying to court her. Hope was killing my life.

Hope is a death knell for betas.

It was after college that I finally came a bit to my senses. I started to distance myself from her, only to have her come over and complain about my friend and her’s relationships. Then, her and my friend broke up. I thought this was my chance.

It was a May afternoon about a year after I graduated from college that I heard that not only was she not choosing me (a statement she had made many times before), but she was dating another one of my best friends. I exploded. She called from her car and I went off on both her and my friend. I was done. I didn’t talk to them for years after the fact.

But it didn’t have to be this way.

I’d never taken rejection well. To the point where if I was rejected, I would cower for two – three months and be petrified of approaching any girls. I had to resort to online dating so that I could buffer the horrible pain of rejection. So my high school and college careers was a series of oneitis catches, then rejection, then despair as I tried to get over it. It really was pitiful, but it was all I knew, so those years were essentially a dumpster fire.

“It’s As If You’ve Been Physically Hurt”

Rejection is a primal human fear. It’s a part of us. According to Psychology Today, rejection actually “piggybacks off of pain pathways in the brain.

Humans have a mapped feel for rejection, all the way back to ancient times. Humans have a need to belong, “and when they were ostracized by their tribe, it would almost mean certain death“. So in that sense, rejection was a life or death issue. Survival instincts kicked in after a rejection.

These days, we fear rejection even more, and the ostracization of people can be even more felt. So much so that society has put in buffers.

So terrified are we as a society of rejection, so terrified are we of social interaction, that we have built our dating technology, food service, grocery delivery, and dining out experiences to avoid speaking with people.

Think about it. We have food delivery, pay at the pump, grocery delivery, carry out, porn, and swiping right and left to specifically avoid talking to people in person. Social interaction means exposing ourselves to some form of rejection, and we avoid it like the plague. We like our bubbles, and we erect comfortable walls to keep us safe inside so we don’t have to feel that pain.

So what’s the result? Well, disaster.

Social skills are lacking in younger generations. Young men are having less sex than ever before. The amount of men not having sex has increased three fold over the past 10 years. We have buffered ourselves into a stagnation of child birth rates.

Reading body language, reading a room, interacting with people have all become quality skills that are needed these days. It’s amazing to me how technology has gone out of it’s way to push keeping people in their bubbles.

And all of this, all of it, because we want to avoid the pain of rejection.

The Alternative

Pain hurts. Of course it does. It’s a human body’s generated response to “stay the hell away from that”. But pain is also the body’s greatest teacher. Which is why we as a human race need to stop avoiding it.

S what did I do after I snapped? Well, continuing on my destiny of being a plugged in beta, I finally, finally, got out of my shell just after college. I started to work out more, I started to date more. I was meeting people. I would slowly work my way out of my rejection funks. Where before I would zero out for months, it was now weeks or days. Then, I met my wife.

The “lost decade” for me came after I had made so much progress. I fell back to Earth. And I didn’t have the chance to really come into my own, choosing the path of least resistance. Then I got divorced.

Going through the hell of divorce makes you a different person. The pain of rejection is nothing compared to the pain of divorce. When you start feeling REAL pain, financial, emotional, and physical, you realize that rejection is nothing.

So as I emerged from my divorce, it was time for me to finally take control. I fluttered around for about a year, dating occasionally, and still feeling the sting of rejection, but not to the extent I felt in my 20’s. It was getting better.

I’ve had three relationships in the 3 years since my divorce, and each relationship has taught me more and more about rejection in the big scheme of my world. The pain was becoming less intense with every breakup, every rejection, regardless of situations.

“Pain Don’t Hurt”

One of the most famous lines from the 1989 classic movie Road House, Patrick Swayze makes an excellent point. As he’s getting stitches from Kelly Lynch without numbing, he’s telling her about the amount of times he’s been stabbed, shot, and beaten up. His body has become used to it. It comes with the turf of being a bouncer.

So what the hell does this have to do with rejection? Well. I’ll let my recent experiences tell you.

In the past year, I’ve been rejected over 300 times by women. And while I now don’t think that’s a lot, taking the beta Red Pill Dad numbers of 2 months average after a rejection to get right, that would be over 50 years to stew over that many rejections. 50 FREAKIN’ YEARS. I’d be 75 years old with the same oneitis problems. What a waste of a life.

My pain is now pleasure. The pain of rejection has now been turned around in my life to give me a road map to be a better man.

Pain from rejection turns into learned experience and eventual success.

After any rejections, I don’t stew. I think, I write, and I study. I take advantage of my pain to show me what I did wrong.

Instead of passively avoiding the pain like we see society doing, I am actively working to avoid the pain by studying my techniques and learning what works.

Now, I’m approaching and getting rejected more than I ever had. The key to rejection is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONAL. Knowing that one fact will make the pain of rejection that much more easy to take. Whether she’s in a relationship, not in the mood, you don’t click with her, you live in different cities, or you have different goals and interests, it’s just not a fit.

She’s just not into you, bro.

Getting past the pain of rejection was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But overcoming that pain is small compared to the regret you’d feel living a life of disconnect just because you don’t want to feel it.

Feeling pain is living. So it’s time for you to start.